Lithuania’s support to Ukraine in an effort to help the country develop its armed forces and reform the defence sector was discussed at a meeting of the committee and Ukraine’s Defence Minister Colonel General Stepan Poltorak in Vilnius on Thursday.
“We offered our help in the teaching of both parliamentarians and heads of ministries, today they need experience we have accumulated very much. (…) We spoke a lot about munitions, financing of their defence sector and the tactical training we could hold,” Paulauskas told journalists after the meeting.
Asked about the help in the form of weapons, the head of the committee replied that Lithuania was not “an arms supplier that could do it.”
“Our potential here is not very big, however, we have other ways – more of humanitarian and intellectual help. Our support in the shape of weapons is very minimal and is likely to stay this way,” said Paulauskas.
The Ukrainian defence minister said he appreciates the Lithuanian support, noting that Lithuania can acquire know-how from the Ukrainians who have faced Russian actions.
“Our relations with the committee and the ministry have been warm and good since the very first day when things for Ukraine became difficult after it was attacked by Russia. Lithuania has been providing help since the first days – both political and humanitarian, we received certain weaponry elements and material aid from Lithuania, our injured soldiers received treatment in your hospitals and our officials attended training in your country. There are things to learn in Lithuania, and the experience we unfortunately gained during the fighting will probably benefit something to your forces, as well. Our cooperation is highly useful and necessary,” Poltorak said after the meeting.
He said he intended to continue talking to the Defence Ministry about training, consultations and expert assistance for the forming of Ukraine’s Defence Ministry.